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Restaurant News: Vivo! comes to life in North Raleigh

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This is a post by N&O restaurant critic Greg Cox:

Gianni Cinelli, one of the Cinelli brothers of local pizzeria fame, is back in action. And this time he's aiming higher.

Cinelli, whose latest venture (Gianni's in Wake Forest) has closed, has turned his attention to Vivo! (no website yet, but you can find it on Facebook), which he opened in late January in North Raleigh's Peachtree Market shopping center.

An emphasis on scratch preparation is reflected in everything from meatballs to lasagna noodles to fresh mozzarella, made daily. Pastas not made in house are imported from Italy, as are San Marzano tomatoes and cheeses bought by the wheel.

The menu focuses on regional Italian fare, from linguine Amatriciana (authentically prepared with guanciale) to gnocchi bianco in sage-butter-cream sauce to slow-roasted porchetta served with baby red potatoes.

"This time, I want to cook the foods I ate in Italy, before I came to America," Cinelli says. As a nod to market realities, he's also making a few Italian-American favorites - "chicken parm and such, the food a lot of people expect when they go to an Italian restaurant."

Naturally, being a Cinelli, he can't resist offering pizza, too.

Vivo! (7400 Six Forks Road, Raleigh; 919-845-6700) is open for lunch and dinner daily. To see their Facebook page, go HERE.

Send restaurant news to Greg at ggcox@bellsouth.net. Be sure to tune in to Greg's radio show at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF.

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About the blogger

Andrea Weigl has been the food writer at The News & Observer since the summer of 2007. She has won a handful of awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Society for Features Journalism. Her profile of chef Ashley Christensen titled "A Force of Nature" will be published in the sixth edition of "Cornbread Nation: The Best of Southern Food Writing." She is serving a three-year term on the James Beard Foundation book awards committee. Follow her on Twitter at @andreaweigl.
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